Outside Briefs, Sept. 10, 2016
GJ hosts BMX State Championships today
Grand Junction will host the Colorado State BMX Championships at 9 a.m. today.
Racers of all ages will be competing from around the state at the track located at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
Racing will begin at 10:45 a.m.
Admission and parking is free.
Aerial prairie dog surveys start next week
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising residents and hunters in the northeast and southeast regions of the state that biologists will be using a low-flying airplane to conduct aerial prairie dog surveys in the coming weeks.
Flight dates are weather-dependent but, generally, the flights will start around Sept. 14 and conclude by Oct. 1.
Aerial prairie dog surveys are part of an ongoing effort to monitor populations in the state. CPW last surveyed black-tailed prairie dogs in 2006-2007. The current work will follow an updated methodology being used throughout the 11-state range of the species to provide more comparable estimates.
The current work is being funded through grants.
Dester Edge Triathlon concludes today
The final day of the Desert Edge Triathlon will be held today at Highline Lake State Park near Loma.
Today features sprint and Olympic triathlons.
The park’s lake and trail system will be closed to recreational users until all triathlon competitors are finished. All vehicles must pay a $7 park entrance fee unless a $70 Colorado State Parks annual pass is affixed to the car’s windshield.
CPW proposing mule deer predation management study to increase population
In an attempt to increase deer populations in two areas of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proposing a predator management study in each area and is seeking input on the proposals at an upcoming meeting in Denver.
Because of a variety of factors, including habitat fragmentation, disease, development, increased outdoor recreation and predation, mule deer populations remain below desired levels in parts of Colorado.
To reverse the downward trend, CPW continues to implement the agency’s West Slope Mule Deer Strategy, approved by the CPW Commission in 2015 after an extensive public outreach effort in 2014 about declining mule deer populations in Colorado and across the Western United States. The proposals seek to determine how lowering predator density affects mule deer survival and recruitment.
A moderated listening session will be held at the Hunter Education Building, 6060 Broadway, Denver, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 19. Public comments will be accepted to gather as much input as possible during the two-hour meeting.
The meeting will end promptly at 8:30 p.m. and if all comments have not been heard, the public can submit their thoughts to the commission’s email address.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s population objective for mule deer is approximately 560,000 statewide; however, the latest estimate puts the statewide population at just under 450,000.
More information regarding the plans can be found at the following Web sites: http://www.cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Research/Mammals/ Piceance-Basin-Predator-Management-Plan-Overview.pdf; http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Research/Mammals/Upper- Arkansas-River-Predator-Management-Plan-Overview.pdf
Field dressing class will be Sept. 20 at Horsethief
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering “Field Dressing 101” for big-game hunters. The class will be at the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 20.
The class is detailed and will include the use of real animals to provide thorough examples of how to properly field dress big game. Instructors will demonstrate gutting and gutless methods of field processing, quartering, and suggestions for transporting the meat out of the field. Additional topics will include techniques for skinning with taxidermy in mind.
The seminar is offered through the agency’s Hunter Outreach Program. Through workshops, clinics, seminars, and educational hunts, the program appeals to diverse interests, backgrounds and levels of ability, helping novices learn about Colorado’s hunting heritage and traditions.
Registration is required and is limited to the first 40 students who sign up.
Information can be found at http://www.register-ed.com/events/ view/87706, or by calling 970-255-6100 to reserve a spot.
BLM will start work soon on new bike trail in McInnis Canyons
The Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office and its partners will soon begin work to create a new trail within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
Approximately 6.5 miles of new singletrack mountain bike trail along Mack Ridge in will be constructed with the help of local volunteers. Less than a mile of unsustainable trail will be removed with the area rehabilitated as part of this project.
The project was originally proposed by the Grand Valley-based Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association. One of COPMOBA’s objectives is to provide new mountain bike trail riding opportunities.
Two local Fruita businesses, the Hot Tomato Café and Colorado Backcountry Biker, contributed funding along with COPMOBA to complete the surveys necessary to ensure any and all cultural resources, sensitive plants and wildlife species are protected during all trail construction.